EDITOR’S NOTE: In what follows, Boyce College Dean Dan DeWitt talks about his new apologetics book, Christ or Chaos, with Towers editor S. Craig Sanders.
CS: You write, “Every worldview is a novel.” And even though this book has a lot of short stories, how have you been able to portray this idea through your Owlingsnovella series?
DD: James Sire in his book The Universe Next Door, which he wrote years ago, has revised it and written a new definition of worldview and it includes that a worldview is a fundamental orientation of the heart that can be expressed either through a story or a set of presuppositions.
I think that one way to deal with worldview is through a set of presuppositions. But even the presuppositions I think are generally communicated through a story. So some people only talk about their worldview in story, and I think most people talk about their worldview as a story. It’s the elite few who really say, “Yeah, here’s my set of presuppositions.” I think that we understand the worldview in terms of a story and there are good stories and bad stories. That doesn’t mean that they’re true or false based on how developed they are. But I do want to paint the picture that every worldview has a beginning, there’s an author to it, or whether the author is chance in a way that everyone is the author.
With The Owlings, I try to give the story of these kids trying to ask the big questions and be confronted with some pretty heavy ideas in a way people would communicate those ideas the way to kids. The Berenstain Bears, for example, begin one chapter in their book on nature with the statement, “Nature is all there is or ever was or ever will be.” Well, that’s a paraphrase of Carl Sagan. And Richard Dawkins has written a children’s book. So I felt like, “How can I write a story that kids can read and enjoy and there’s kind of a worldview parable in the story?” One example that’s really encouraging to me is a girl in 6th grade read The Owlings, and it helped her understand what her church group been talking about. They were approaching it in terms of realistic presuppositions. I just told a story, but it illustrated this big worldview idea.